Tuesday, March 06, 2007

People try to put us down...

In a post about Barack Obama's recent speech in Selma, Alabama, Matthew Yglesias, a prominent blogger of national affairs, strikes a few chords that seem relevant (and perhaps a little self-serving) to the current situation in Columbia.

Progressives these days have a sometimes angsty relationship with the social movements of the 1960s and 70s. The sense that, ultimately, these movements failed and the Democratic Party came to disaster through its association with them is inescapable. And yet precisely what we don't want to do is mimick the smarmy neoliberals of the 1980s and 1990s, forever full of scorn, forever eager to blame the left for the right's malgovernment, forever looking to get ahead by knifing an ally in the back.

Arguably, Obama's hit on the right way to think about all this. The movements of yore accomplished a great deal and were absolutely right about the biggest issues of their time. But they made some mistakes. Mistakes that are dwarfed by the scale of their accomplishments; but nonetheless mistakes that carried a high price.

No comments: